This week, in an apparent attempt to minimize the damage from the Noel Canning decision, President Obama announced three more nominations to the National Labor Relations Board – two Republicans, and one Democrat. These new nominations, coupled with the February nominations of current “recess appointees” Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, would give the Board its fi rst full slate since August 2010 if approved by the Senate.
The latest nominees include current Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat and union-side labor lawyer from Buffalo, whose term will otherwise expire in August. The two Republican appointees are Philip Miscimarra of Chicago and Harry I. Johnson, III, of Los Angeles, both management-side labor and employment lawyers.
Meanwhile, Block and Griffi n, both Democrats, are continuing to serve as “recess appointees,” even though their appointments were held to be invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Noel Canning case and even though Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has called for them to resign while their nominations are pending.
The reaction to the President’s latest three appointments is expected to be positive overall. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill intended to block the Board from making decisions while acting without a quorum of three validly appointed members. However, Miscimarra and Johnson both appear to be extremely well-suited to articulate views that will provide a refreshing contrast with the onesided, results-oriented approach favoring organized labor that has been demonstrated so far by Pearce, Block, and Griffin.